Over the years, diet has become an increasingly important aspect to the management of multiple sclerosis (MS). Establishing and maintaining a healthy body weight has been associated with decreased risk for MS-related disability and disease activity. Additionally, diet affects the composition of the gut microbiome, which in turn has important effects on the immune system that may be relevant for MS. While there are several benefits that dieting brings, there is no definitive diet that has been specifically proven to be most optimal in changing the course of MS.
At the 2023 Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Forum, held February 23-25, in San Diego, California, a study presented by Laura Piccio, MD, PhD, assessed the effects of intermittent calorie restriction (iCR) in patients with MS. A cohort of 42 individuals with the disease were split into 2 groups: unrestricted diet, or iCR diet, with 2 of the 7 days of the week eating non-starchy vegetables that totaled 400-500 calories. The remaining 5 days were normal calorie intake. Patients were followed for 12 weeks, with data points evaluated at the 6- and 12-week marks.